Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 24 (5), 2007 – interesting articles

[German title: Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 24 (5), 2007 – interessante Artikel]

Systems Research and Behavioral Science
Volume 24, Issue 5

Special Issue: Complexity, Democracy and Sustainability …

Today’s Copernican flip: how putting collaborative learning at the hub of human evolution improves our chances of survival (p 481-491)
Sally J. Goerner

Keywords: integral science • patterns of change • human development • collaborative learning

Abstract: Civilization is reinventing itself, much as it did 500 years ago in the shift from medieval to modern patterns of society. This time, the modern, mechanistic, imperialistic approach to life is failing and a new, collaborative learning species vision of humanity and ecosystem view of Global Integral Civilization is rising to take its place. Systems science stands at the heart of a new, integral stage of science that supports this new stage of civilization, not only with empirical and methodological detail, but also with a solid foundation for the new cultural and economic understandings. The result is a Copernican flip in our scientific view of the world and a new Enlightenment movement beginning to gather force throughout the world. Yet, though the ideas, the technologies, the ennobling inspiration and even the popular desire for this new era already exist, so far they remain diffuse and disjoint – obscured, suffocated and intimidated beneath the powerful pressures of business as usual. Today’s challenge is to use the new scientific framework to build the intellectual clarity, common-cause unity and social infrastructure needed to achieve the next stage in human development by channelling these positive forces into a self-sustaining, actively learning whole. 

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Fostering a sustainable learning society through knowledge-based development (p 493-503)
Kathia Castro Laszlo, Alexander Laszlo

Keywords: evolutionary development • learning society • evolutionary systems design • knowledge management • sustainability

Abstract: According to convention, there appears to be two main purposes of knowledge-based development: economic prosperity and human development. This paper emphasizes the importance of the balance between these two purposes and suggests that they need to be complemented with an axiological framework grounded in a systemic and evolutionary perspective. Such a contextualization of development brings sustainability into focus and gives direction and meaning to related knowledge strategies. The notion of the knowledge economy has long been embraced as an attractive next stage of post-industrial society. However, it remains grounded in an economic model that treats society and the biosphere as externalities. As a result, the knowledge economy appears as an improved but essentially unchanged paradigm of value exchange that continues to increase the gap between rich and poor, ignores the intrinsic value of living and life-supporting systems and undermines the viability of the biosphere – as if human systems could live without it. A new framework for understanding development in a systemic and interconnected way – evolutionary development – is presented as the larger container within which knowledge strategies could make a significant difference in terms of the creation of value – not only financial, but also human, social and ecosystemic. The case of Monterrey, Mexico, as the host of the Universal Forum of Cultures in 2007 and as a place with the intention of becoming a knowledge city, is used to highlight the concrete opportunities to link the economic and human dimensions of knowledge-based development for the creation of a sustainable learning society.

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Knowledge work, design science and problem structuring methodologies (p 523-535)
Paul Keys

Keywords: knowledge work • problem structuring methodologies • design science

Abstract: It has been argued in a previous paper in this journal that taking a knowledge work perspective enables key aspects of the processes underpinning OR analysis to be better understood. This paper furthers this discussion by exploring knowledge-related aspects of a particular type of OR, the use of problem structuring methodologies (PSMs). The notion of a design science for the use of PSMs provides a coherent and useful means of organizing this discussion and the content of such a science is presented in order to support the analysis. It is shown that this approach generates useful insights into the nature of some critical practical issues for the continuing development of PSMs and suggestions for how they may be addressed. 

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Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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